WP34s Programming Cable
01-29-2014, 04:30 PM
Post: #41
 StephenR0 Junior Member Posts: 15 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
Actually, the flashing procedure is pretty risk free. If it messes up in the middle, just clear it out and start over. You do have to erase it again to get it ready to flash, but then everything should work. The hardest part is that nothing happens on the screen. You just have to follow the erase procedure and trust that it works.
01-30-2014, 08:19 PM (This post was last modified: 01-30-2014 08:25 PM by dewster.)
Post: #42
 dewster Junior Member Posts: 14 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
(01-29-2014 04:30 PM)StephenR0 Wrote:  Actually, the flashing procedure is pretty risk free. If it messes up in the middle, just clear it out and start over. You do have to erase it again to get it ready to flash, but then everything should work. The hardest part is that nothing happens on the screen. You just have to follow the erase procedure and trust that it works.

Yes, that was my experience. After installing the crystal, I went to reflash mine with the real-time clock load. I picked the "calc_xtal_full.bin" file which apparently takes longer to "do its thing" after the upload. I thought something went wrong so I reset it and reflashed it again with no apparent harm done. Gave it a bit longer the second time before jumping the gun and it was fine. But, yeah, not a lot of feedback on the screen.

I won't say you can't go wrong with the cable I pointed to, but it worked great for me twice. And for 4 (total, delivered!) farting around with other methods seems like too much effort. (And I can use the cable to power & talk to my Hive processor on an Altera FPGA demo board - design document.) 01-30-2014, 11:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2014 06:15 PM by Dave Frederickson.) Post: #43  Dave Frederickson Senior Member Posts: 1,618 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable (01-15-2014 11:36 PM)Mark Hardman Wrote: In the referenced auction he says, "*** we can custom made 1- 8 position, pleased ask if need ***". Let us know what you find out. ... regarding eBay seller pingf123. I received no response regarding a custom plug. My first attempt at making a plug failed - I got solder into the pogo springs. So I made a plug from a 2mm pitch IDC ribbon cable assy, the pogo pins are just held in place by the connector. The clip was made from a piece of tin can and is held in place with a piece of double-sided foam tape. No soldering required to make the plug. Added Harald's adapter and I have a new calculator. Hires pic If anybody's interested I have some spare ribbon cable assys and pogo pins. Dave 01-31-2014, 04:39 PM Post: #44  StephenR0 Junior Member Posts: 15 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable That looks really good. Which size pogo pins did you use? Here's a table that I got from Ebay: P50: Dia.=0.68mm, L=16.55mm P75: Dia.=1.02mm, L=16.50mm P100: Dia.=1.36mm, L=33.30mm I used the P50 size because that looked like it would fit in the machine sockets that I used. But they were quite loose until I soldered them in. Of course, I had to keep them aligned while soldering. I'm guessing you used something bigger. I think you've got a nice looking connector there, though. 01-31-2014, 10:41 PM Post: #45  Dave Frederickson Senior Member Posts: 1,618 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable The webpage says they're P50-B's, spear tip. They were a little loose in the machined sockets. I should've been more careful with the soldering flux as the solder wicked up the inside of the barrel on several of the pins and I was left with nogo-pogo pins. Actually they fit into the IDC connector rather snugly. 02-01-2014, 02:05 AM Post: #46  StephenR0 Junior Member Posts: 15 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable I used the round tipped ones. I think you've probably hit on the way to make these connectors. That looks like a pretty approachable way to do it. 02-01-2014, 02:22 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2014 06:16 PM by Dave Frederickson.) Post: #47  Dave Frederickson Senior Member Posts: 1,618 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable I have 7 cables left over with pogo pins. I'll throw in some extra pins and the machined connector strip and sell for cost if anyone's interested. If I get any replies I'll put them in the Classified section. Here's another pic. I turned the clip around before soldering the cable to Harald's adapter so the brown wire would go to pin 1, or J31 on the calculator (following the color code). Hires pic 02-01-2014, 08:19 AM Post: #48  walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable (02-01-2014 02:22 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote: Two comments: 1. To the older members: Do you still remember "HP - invent" ? It should read "Community - invent" now! 2. These cables fit nicely the upcoming Olympiad 02-01-2014, 11:32 AM Post: #49  Steve Simpkin Senior Member Posts: 374 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable Quote: (02-01-2014 08:19 AM)walter b Wrote: 1. To the older members: Do you still remember "HP - invent" ? It should read "Community - invent" Wow. If "HP Invent" is something to be remembered by the "older members", I must be ancient I vividly remember the statement; "HP calculators fill real needs. And they provide lasting value." printed on the inside front cover of my HP-25 Owner's Handbook. THAT was a great mission statement and very true. 02-01-2014, 12:30 PM Post: #50  walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable (02-01-2014 11:32 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote: Wow. If "HP Invent" is something to be remembered by the "older members", I must be ancient I vividly remember the statement; "HP calculators fill real needs. And they provide lasting value." printed on the inside front cover of my HP-25 Owner's Handbook. THAT was a great mission statement and very true. Please see p. 5 of the printed WP 34S manual as well. d:-) 02-02-2014, 12:29 AM Post: #51  Steve Simpkin Senior Member Posts: 374 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: WP34s Programming Cable [qoute] (02-01-2014 12:30 PM)walter b Wrote: Please see p. 5 of the printed WP 34S manual as well. d:-) Excellent touch, Walter and very appropriate I had read many draft and preliminary versions of "The Manual" front to back but I had missed that qoute on the most recent versions. For someone who enjoys reading calculator manuals, I should have caught that. I can't express how much I enjoy my WP 34S. Thank you again and the whole WP 34S team, for all your hard work. Steve Simpkin 02-14-2014, 12:41 PM Post: #52  sa-penguin Member Posts: 75 Joined: Jan 2014 RE: WP34s Programming Cable (01-29-2014 02:36 AM)sa-penguin Wrote: (01-28-2014 08:56 PM)dewster Wrote: This worked for me (4 USD):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...2E614S7991
I feel like I'm making delaying excuses, worried the flashing procedure won't work. It's time to "have a go" with what I have on hand.
If the wheels fall off, I'm happy to buy a pre-configured 34s.
I am now the owner of the USB serial board, same as mentioned in the WP34S docs. I've just spent the evening trying to install it. I stuffed it up, just a tad.
The board, as per the Appendix H pictures, goes over a post. To make it do this, you need to cut back supports with an art knife. I didn't cut away enough, and the board only went half-way down the post.

The problem came when I tried to re-assemble the case: there's an LCD support in the case that now hits the mini-USB board.
So my careful work needs to be stripped out, the post supports CORRECTLY cut away, and reinstall the board again.

Oh well.
02-17-2014, 12:22 AM (This post was last modified: 02-18-2014 06:40 AM by Jonathan Cameron.)
Post: #53
 Jonathan Cameron Member Posts: 204 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
I got my WP-34s programming cable working. I used the "USB to TTL Serial Cable Adapter FTDI Chipset PL2303HX Cable Computer Cable" mentioned in these posts (dewstar) and shown by Theramin on his page (http://www.thereminworld.com/Forums/T/29...b-to-wp34s).

I ordered switches, etc, and did not get exactly what I wanted but it ended up working okay. Here is a my circuit diagram, which illustrates exactly how to connect it (cross TX/RX):

A few notes:
• Since the Erase switch was a push-button toggle switch, I ended up adding an LED so I could tell when the erase was in progress. That makes that part easy: Press the button to toggle "ERASE" on and the LED glows so you can see you are in that mode. No need to hold it down during the process.
• I had thought about including a RESET button, but omitted it since it is pretty easy to use the RESET switch on the calculator.
• I included a DC-DC converter 5->3v because I had orginally planned to have a +3v to supply to the calculator during flashing, but ended up not including it due to some posts that I read. Not sure if it is an issue or not. So I used the DC-DC converter to provide the voltage for the Erase line and to power the LED.
• I included 1K resistors on the TX/RX lines due to suggestions on Theramin's page.
• I probably should have put a resistor on the positive lead of the LED to keep its current at a reasonable level. But it seems to work okay without it. And I'm not keeping it lit for extended periods, anyway.
• Notice that the USB/TTL TX line goes to the Calculator RX (and vice versa). This took a while to figure out. Although several sources said TX to TX, one of the photos in Theramin's page actually shows crossing the lines. That worked, finally.
I used a 6-pin 2mm pitch header connector with pogo pins from ebay. The pins go in snugly and do not need soldering. It took a bit of work, but I used aluminium flashing to create the little clip to hold the connecter in place during programming (similar to one by Dave Fredrickson in http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-183...#post_4013). It is a bit delicate but I have plenty of extra pogo pins so I'll just live with it. Here is my connector without the clip:

Finally, I had some difficulties getting flashing to work after my first flash attempt failed.
i was only able to get this working on windows with MySamba (running as administrator). I could not get the QtFlash working on Windows or Linux.

One thing that helped was in this post: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...977#200119
This post has a bit different procedure to reset the calculator to receive a download. This procedure worked for me even after a flash failure (with the calculator looking completely unresponsive):
1. Turn on the calculator (do not worry if it is unresponsive due to earlier flashing failures)
2. Plug in in the programming cable into the calculator and plug the USB end into the computer
3. Set up MySamba to prepare to do the download (do not press [Send File])
4. Press and hold the [On] key
5. Press and hold the ERASE button (or toggle in on in my case)
6. Press the RESET button inside the back cover of the calculator with a paper clip
7. Release the ERASE button
8. Release the calculator [On] button
9. Turn the calculator on (should not get any response)
10. Press the MySamba [Send File] button to send the flash image. After a few seconds you should see the transmit progress.
11. Disconnect the cable on both ends and exit MySamba
12. Press the reset button with a paper clip again
13. Press the calculator [On] button! It should come alive with the new flash image.

Next I need to set up a little project box to make it a little prettier.

-Jonathan

P.S. Thanks to many posts here that helped me figure out how to do this!
P.P.S. Edits: updated circuit to include capacitors for DC-DC converter, added assembled picture (below).

P.P.S. Here is the final version, assembled:

The box contains a little perf board with the circuit done with point-to-point soldering. Note the reset tool! As with any first-time project, there are various things I would do differently and better the next time. But this one works and I'll live with it for a while.

Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)

02-17-2014, 01:32 AM (This post was last modified: 02-18-2014 01:18 AM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #54
 Dave Frederickson Senior Member Posts: 1,618 Joined: Dec 2013
Tx and Rx
Very nice, Jonathan!

Here's the story on how to connect Tx and Rx.
Some computer equipment is classified as Data Terminal Equipment (DTE), like a computer, in which case Tx is an output and Rx is an input. Other computer equipment is classified as Data Communications Equipment (DCE) like a modem, in which case Tx is an input from the DTE and Rx is an output to the DTE. When two computers (DTE) are connected by a null modem cable the Tx and Rx signals are crossed.
When in doubt, check the datasheet for the component used.

Dave

Resistance is futile.
02-19-2014, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 02-19-2014 06:05 PM by dewster.)
Post: #55
 dewster Junior Member Posts: 14 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
Evidently there are fake FTDI chipsets out there:

From the article: Fake chip was working kinda fine, until FTDI released drivers update, which were able to detect fake chips via USB and send only 0's in this case. It was impossible to foresee any possible further driver checks without full schematic recovery and these hidden tricks saved FTDI profits.

Hmm. Seems like a boneheaded move by FTDI, punishing otherwise innocent customers who thought they bought something from them. This will the last time I buy anything FTDI.

BTW, my serial cable now has an obvious melted area on the plastic, opposite the USB symbol side. It doesn't get hot, or even warm to the touch, but I'm not going to leave it plugged in anymore for fear of a fire.

[EDIT] OK I took it apart, pix here:

http://www.thereminworld.com/Forums/T/29...34s?Page=1

Not the FTDI chipset as promised by the newegg vendor, but the PL2303HX from Prolific.
02-19-2014, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 02-20-2014 12:21 AM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #56
 Dave Frederickson Senior Member Posts: 1,618 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
Counterfeit components is a big issue. Just Google it.

I don't think FTDI implemented a counterfeit check to punish individuals who bought a cable from China, but to protect legitimate manufacturer's who buy thousands of parts.

(02-19-2014 05:27 PM)dewster Wrote:  This will the last time I buy anything FTDI.

Perhaps a better statement would be, "This will be the last time I buy anything from China.", since this wasn't an FTDI chip.

Dave
02-22-2014, 04:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2014 04:12 PM by dewster.)
Post: #57
 dewster Junior Member Posts: 14 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
(02-19-2014 08:06 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Counterfeit components is a big issue. Just Google it.

Oh, I don't doubt that.

(02-19-2014 08:06 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  I don't think FTDI implemented a counterfeit check to punish individuals who bought a cable from China, but to protect legitimate manufacturer's who buy thousands of parts.

Talk to the poor suckers who bought a variety of Olimex boards and got caught in the crossfire:

https://www.olimex.com/forum/index.php?topic=2031.0

"After few reports by customers we investigated the inability of some devices to communicate via USB with a personal computer, despite that the customers had followed all recommendations and had downloaded latest FTDI drivers (straight from their web site). We discovered that the cause of this problem is connected to FT232RL chip incorporated in their design."

I'm kind of surprised FTDI did this, I can't see how linking their product to something broken will boost profits. And there's enough broken stuff in the world without people running around intentionally breaking even more stuff.
02-22-2014, 10:33 PM
Post: #58
 sylvandb Junior Member Posts: 13 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
(02-22-2014 04:10 PM)dewster Wrote:  I'm kind of surprised FTDI did this, I can't see how linking their product to something broken will boost profits. And there's enough broken stuff in the world without people running around intentionally breaking even more stuff.

Agreed.

Prolific's driver usually just fails to recognize the fake chip. Maybe a slightly better approach.

I think the best approach for the manufacturer's driver would be to put up a warning message when the fake chip is first plugged and every time the port is opened, to the effect, "Warning: Counterfeit {whatever it is} detected. Use it anyway? <OK> <CANCEL>" and if the user selects <OK> the driver should simply go about business as usual.

The Linux driver usually just works. I wonder if the two cheap boards I just received from China are fake... Linux works just fine with them.
02-01-2015, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2015 04:49 AM by Bit.)
Post: #59
 Bit Member Posts: 265 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
I've made a programming cable using Dave's plug and some 'U Mold Plastic' from RadioShack. You heat it up, mold it, and then as it cools down, it solidifies. It took a few tries to get it right and I'll probably get the grand prize for ugliest programming cable ever, but I'm quite happy with the result: It's very small and light and protects the pogo pins quite well, so it's well suited to being carried in a pocket. The plug is easy to connect, fits in the calculator snugly and the plastic cannot scratch the device. There are two small tactile buttons sunk in for the erase and reset functions.

If someone would like to create a similar cable, be sure to test all electrical functions first becaue you won't be able to remove the plastic once it has flowed around the parts. I suggest you disassemble the calculator before fitting the soft plug for the first time. It'll be much easier to remove the newly shaped plug that way and you'll need to adjust how much the plastic protrudes into the gaps on the sides.

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02-01-2015, 05:39 AM
Post: #60
 John Galt Member Posts: 187 Joined: Oct 2014
RE: WP34s Programming Cable
Thank you Bit!

I was thinking along those very lines in this post, but I've never worked with that stuff and was concerned that I might have difficulty removing the hardened plastic from the bottom case - which I assume you used as a mold. Did you find any problems removing it? Did you use any mold release substance?

How did you keep the plastic away from interfering with the spring pin's action?

You said it fits the calculator snugly. That's important. How is that possible, given it's just an interference fit? The pins oppose that force so it's always going to want to come out, right?
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